With summer approaching, this is the reason for some backyard cooking of the beef steak. Grilling a great steak is not that complicated. Read this article to pick a few tips on how to cook the best steak; we have spoken to leading chefs so these secrets come right from the horses’ mouth.
The Right Cut
Celebrity chef David Walzog spills out a secret for home cooks; when it comes to cooking the perfect beef steak, thicker is better.
This is probably the reason why the filet mignon remains one of the most popular cuts in popular superstores and restaurants around the world. Walzog elaborates further; when you have thin cut, the error margin is very large. With a thick cut, you can get the desired sear on the crust.
Starting with the right Meat
You pay anywhere between $3 and $35 for a pound of beef but there are two considerations here- value and taste (indulgence). Assuming you are cooking for a small party, take note of the three grades of beef- Prime, Choice and Select. These grades are per the USFDA so there is a fair bit of standardization here. Now, though Choice is placed in the middle, 2/3rds of this grade is placed in the bottom rung by hotels and shops selling raw beef. The top 1/3rd of Choice (high Choice) is cornered by restaurants and USFDA white-labelled outlets, so what you are left with is the low quality Choice products in superstores.
In recent years, there has been an intense lobbying by the superstores to get the top 1/3rd Choice beef. This meat is available at half the price of Prime.
Tip- Watch out for these brands while shopping for your beef- Certified Angus Beef, Niman Ranch, and Creekstone Ranch. These brands provide the bang for the buck.
Many tips on how to cook steak miss an important point when it comes to meat selection, so here’s how you can ace the preparation:
Naturally raised Meat
Money not being a problem, the best meat is one that has been naturally raised. Of late, many superstores sell beef that comes from dairy cattle. This meet is juicy and probably tastes fine but is loaded with hormones and antibiotics.
Naturally raised animals are not fed these chemicals and they are slaughtered in their old age. Meat of these animals, upon drying, is rich and has a great flavour.
Tip- You won’t find naturally raised beef in most of the superstores. To get it, you will have to contact specialized butchers or mail order firms.
Award winning celebrity chef Ming Tsai says,” the only thing worse than using too much salt is using very little of it” Chef Warzog concurs and adds that it is amazing to see how this crucial tip is looked over by even seasoned chefs.
Season your red meat with lots of sea salt and pepper. If you are buying a top quality beef, then it can stand up to lots of seasoning.
Tip- Add complex spices, peppercorn and other forms of pepper to your beef. This way, your food gets the seared layering that you so want.
Rest, Rest, Rest
Now here is one secret that many home cooks would get their right arms to get.
Let the steak rest after taking it down from the stove. Don’t start serving it straightaway.
The iconic River Cottage Meat Book has a thing or two to say about resting your steak.
When you leave your just-cooked beef steak for a few minutes, the muscle fibres shorten down and allow the juices to seep into the middle of the food.
River Cottage is a famous farms -to -dinner table based in the UK.
Another cook book, Serious Eats also says letting the steak cool down for a few minutes enhances the dining experience. So, when you cut your steak after letting it rest for 7-8 minutes, there is little or no spillage of the fluids. Food tastes better and overall the steak retains its juiciness.
To be a good cook is simple; but to be a great cook takes a bit of time. However, we have saved your time by listing some very basic steps above. Just pick the right meat, cut it thick and let your steak rest for 5-10 minutes. Bon Apetit.